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British woman survives macaque attack during Phuket holiday

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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British woman survives macaque attack during Phuket holiday | The Thaiger

PHUKET: A British woman with a life-long fear of monkeys was seriously injured by several primates while visiting Monkey Beach on Phi Phi Don Island on May 21.

Dee Darwell, 56, arrived in Phuket on May 18 and had a couple of “lovely” days before setting off on a one-day trip to Phi Phi Don and surrounding islands with Siam Seacanoe tour company.

One stop on the tour was Monkey Beach, named for its large population of crab-eating macaques.

Ms Darwell’s father kept an ‘evil’ chimpanzee that fostered her ‘intense dislike for
monkeys’, she explained.

Despite this, she agreed to take the boat trip with her friend.

Arriving at Monkey Island at around noon, Ms Darwell considered staying on the boat while the other 35 tourists enjoyed up-close encounters with the monkeys.

But rather than endure the sun, she opted to lay down her towel on a rock near the shoreline.

“I thought I was heading for safety under this rock in the shade, only to cool down. I laid the towel down and there were no monkeys in sight,” said Ms Darwell.

“The next thing I noticed, this monkey walked up next to me and I thought, ‘Oh dear,’ and I began to stand up to move away.

“Then, the monkey took my wrist and pounced on my right arm, sinking his teeth in and hung off it. He wouldn’t let go; he was locked on. I was absolutely petrified. I was shaking from head to foot and I froze,” she said.

“There was one man, a tourist, and when he saw the monkey bite me, he screamed and ran off…Then another, bigger monkey bit my arm, just next to the other one biting me, and all of a sudden I was surrounded by monkeys.”

Three or four of the creatures began attacking her from all sides, grabbing her arms, legs and rear end, leaving bruises all over her body.

“I thought, ‘this is it, I’m going to die, I’m going to be savaged by these monkeys,’ then I went into shock.”

Ms Darwell does not remember how she was rescued, but was later told that the boat crew had gotten the monkeys away from her.

The next thing she remembers was the blood “pumping out of a deep, deep hole” near her right wrist. “It was like it was all going in slow motion and I was watching a movie,” she said.

The boat crew were well prepared and very efficient in treating her wound, cleaning it and covering it with a bandage.

However, the treatment ended there, according to Ms Darwell; she was not immediately taken back to Phuket for further medical attention.

“I didn’t want to make a fuss in front of everyone on the tour, but for sure they should have ferried me straight back to the hospital,” she said.

Instead of taking her back to Phuket, the tour continued as scheduled with a stop for lunch, where she had to pay for a beach chair and couldn’t eat because of the pain and her “dazed” state. She said she was only given paracetamol for the “intense” pain.

“I thought, ‘I’ve paid to come on this trip, I’ve been bitten by a monkey, been brought here for a lunch I couldn’t eat and I’ve just come here to rest and now I have to pay extra for a place to rest,'” she recalled.

Yongyut Buasod, the Siam Seacanoe guide responsible for Ms Darwell’s tour, said that they did warn her of the dangers of bacterial infection and offered to take her to a hospital, but a friend with her said that she could take her herself.

Ms Darwell said that after arriving back in Phuket around 5pm or 6pm, she went to Patong Hospital.

Sensing a worsening infection, she went to Bangkok Hospital Phuket on May 28, where she underwent a surgical procedure to remove rotten flesh.

Ms Darwell said that her main complaint was with the lack of warning given on the potential dangers on the trip.

“I wouldn’t have got off that bloody boat if the tour guide would have said at all that there was any danger, any risk, even the slightest risk. I would not have gotten off that boat,” she said.

Mr Yongyut said, “We bring tourists to this beach every day, and we always warn them about the monkeys. But, in a group of about 40 tourists, you’re always going to have someone who doesn’t listen.

“We can’t control the monkeys if they decide to bite someone; that’s why we always warn the tourists. That day some people were teasing the monkeys. They don’t necessarily attack the specific person teasing them.

“Every tour company bringing tourists here warns their customers. We, also, don’t want to have problems like this. The tourists don’t have to get off the boat if they don’t want to,” he said.

She ended by saying, “Come to Thailand because it’s the most beautiful place and the people are lovely – just keep away from the monkeys.”

— N. Altstadt & Atchaa Khamlo

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com

In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.

But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.

Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.

In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.

The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.

By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.

Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.

You can read the full list HERE.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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